7 Things You Didn't Know About Gypsy Rose Lee's Love Life

Gypsy Rose Lee

The life and loves of an American icon.

When one thinks of burlesque, one has to by default think of Gypsy Rose Lee. What people fail to realize nowadays is that she was much more than a mere stripper. Gypsy Rose Lee was a woman of great wit and intelligence, both of which she incorporated into her act. Beyond her work as a burlesque dancer, Lee was a writer, actress and producer.

Her love life was as epic as her stage persona, including multiple affairs and marriages. Here, you can find seven facts you didn't know about her fabulous, scandalous life.

During her time at Minsky's Burlesque, she had multiple affairs, including one with the house comedian Rags Ragland.
Her first marriage took place in 1937, when she was 26 years old. She married Robert Mizzy during her early run in Hollywood, allegedly at the urging of the film studio. The marriage ended in divorce in 1941.

3. Between her first and second marriages, she had an affair with producer Michael Todd, a relationship that would leave a lasting impression on her. She wanted to marry him, and was heartbroken when he wouldn't leave his wife.
She had one son, her beloved boy Erik Lee Preminger (born Erik Lee Kirkland in 1944). Preminger was raised under the name Kirkland because, at the time, his mother was married to Alexander Kirkland. It wouldn't come out until Erik was an adult that his real father was the famed director Otto Preminger.
Lee's marriage to Kirkland (her second) was a calculated move to make former lover Michael Todd jealous. Once again, the marriage ended in divorce in 1944.
According to Lee's son Erik, one of the female boarders in his Grandma Rose's boarding house made a pass at Lee. The woman also happened to be Grandma Rose's lover. In response, Rose shot the woman (it was passed off as a suicide and Rose was never prosecuted).

7. Lee's third marriage was to the Spanish artist Julio De Diego. Lasting from 1948-1955, this, the last of her marriages, also resulted in divorce.